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The Atlantic: Prog Rock is the Whitest Music Ever

trapped eunuch ferocity the tragically pseudo hip

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#41 HemiBeers

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 02:44 PM

Not sure if NIN could be called prog, but this new version could be called frog:

https://www.youtube....h?v=57ta7mkgrOU

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#42 Wil1972

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:26 PM

View PostLorraine, on 04 August 2017 - 06:34 PM, said:

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 04 August 2017 - 06:29 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 04 August 2017 - 06:21 PM, said:

Quote

The trapped, eunuch ferocity of Geddy Lee’s voice, squealing inside the nonsense clockwork of Rush, disturbs me...

Oh my.
I wouldn't worry too much about the opinion of someone who writes for a living but can't tell an adjective from a noun.

That's not why I said "oh my."   And I didn't notice his improper use of a word.  I was thinking more of the reactions here to what he said about Geddy and Rush.

At least it was mildly creative. Hearing "balls in a vicegrip" for the umpteenth time does get old ...

#43 Wil1972

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:28 PM

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 04 August 2017 - 06:11 PM, said:

https://www.theatlan...tm_source=atlfb

Quote

The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock
By David Weigel

“We are the most uncool people in Miami.” So begins, promisingly enough, David Weigel’s The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock. Weigel, along with 3,000 fellow Yes-heads, Rush-oids, Tull freaks, and votaries of King Crimson—cultural underdogs all, twitching and grimacing with revenge-of-the-nerds excitement—is at the port of Miami, about to embark on a five-day progressive-rock-themed cruise: a floating orgy of some of the most despised music ever produced by long-haired white men.

Do you like prog rock, the extravagantly conceptual and wildly technical post-psychedelic subgenre that ruled the world for about 30 seconds in the early 1970s before being torn to pieces by the starving street dogs of punk rock? Do you like the proggers, with their terrible pampered proficiency, their priestly robes, and their air—once they get behind their instruments—of an inverted, almost abscessed Englishness? I don’t. At least, I think I don’t. I like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is a kind of wonderful satirical compression of prog rock, a fast-forward operetta with goofy existentialist trappings and a heavy-metal blowout in the middle; I like the bit of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells that became the theme music for The Exorcist. And there are contemporary bands I adore that have been grazed by prog: the moody, alchemical Tool, the obtuse and crushing Meshuggah. But for naked prog, the thing itself, I seem to lack the mettle. The trapped, eunuch ferocity of Geddy Lee’s voice, squealing inside the nonsense clockwork of Rush, disturbs me. And Yes’s Tales From Topographic Oceans is an experience to me unintelligible and close to unbearable, like being read aloud a lengthy passage of prose with no verbs in it.

Hated, dated, sonically superannuated … One could enjoy prog ironically, I suppose—listen to it with a drooping and decadent ear, getting off on the fabulous obsolescence, etc. But that’s not what Weigel is about. He loves prog, and his argument, his prog polemic, is that the glory of this music has been obscured from us by sneering decades of hipster rock criticism and prejudice against 20-minute songs:

Teams of highly trained visionaries paced themselves against their influences and their peers to write songs they were confident no one else would think of writing. They took the music far, far away from the basics, so that some later groups of jerks could take it “back to basics” and be praised for their genius. Every new artistic movement rebels against whatever came right before it. But the progressives’ rebellion was the weirdest and the best.
Put like that, it does sound rather tasty. Prog as a wild chamber of experimentation, a sci-fi trespass across the limits of popular music, driving clear of fashion and orbiting the Earth forever. Awesome. The problem comes, for me, when I actually listen to the stuff. Is it not a form of aesthetic dissipation to praise something for its ambition and its bold idiosyncrasy when that something is, objectively speaking, crap? I think it might be. Gentle Giant, in 1972, took a poem from Knots, a book by the great heretic psychiatrist R. D. Laing, and turned it into an intricate, multivoice chant: It hurts him to think that she is / hurting her by him being hurt to think / that she thinks he is hurt by making her / feel guilty at hurting him by her thinking / she wants him to want her. The idea is great on paper. But listen to the song, to its scurrying, fidgety instrumentation, its fussy avoidance of anything like a melody. It is not enjoyable. At all. Magma, the French prog band, invented not only its own L. Ron Hubbard–style cosmic origin story but its own language (Kobaïan, which reads like a sequence of Gothic expletives: Nebëhr gudahtt, Köhntarkösz). Again, very creative. But run, oh run, from the music.

The relative crudity of punk rock was simply a biological corrective—a healing, if you like.
If Weigel were David Foster Wallace, he would have written his entire book from inside that cruise ship, possibly never leaving his cabin, eavesdropping on snatches of music and chitchat and sending out his imagination in heavy spirals of paranoia and insight. But Weigel is a political reporter for The Washington Post, so he climbs off that wiggy, proggy boat and treads onto the dry land of chronology. “We’re a European group,” declared the lead singer of proto-proggers The Nice in 1969, “so we’re improvising on European structures … We’re not American Negros, so we can’t really improvise and feel the way they can.” Indeed. Thus did prog divorce itself from the blues, take flight into the neoclassical, and become the whitest music ever.

Procol Harum fiddled around with Bach’s Air on a G String and came up with “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” More vandalistically, the super-keyboardist Keith Emerson, of The Nice and then Emerson, Lake & Palmer, unleashed himself upon the works of Modest Mussorgsky (Pictures at an Exhibition), Alberto Ginastera (“Toccata”), and Aaron Copland (“Fanfare for the Common Man”). You’ve got to love Emerson. He would wrench, upend, and literally stab his instrument—rather in the manner in which Hunter S. Thompson used to shoot his typewriter—jamming down keys with daggers, the better to produce his trademark squelching stun-chords. Fiending for technology, vivid with turbulence, he went from the Hammond organ to the freshly developed Moog synthesizer. (The proper pronunciation of Moog, I recently discovered, is “Mogue,” like “vogue.” Perhaps prog should be pronounced “progue.”)

Money rained down upon the proggers. Bands went on tour with orchestras in tow; Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Greg Lake stood onstage on his own private patch of Persian rug. But prog’s doom was built in. It had to die. As a breed, the proggers were hook-averse, earworm-allergic; they disdained the tune, which is the infinitely precious sound of the universe rhyming with one’s own brain. What’s more, they showed no reverence before the sacred mystery of repetition, before its power as what the music critic Ben Ratliff called “the expansion of an idea.” Instead, like mad professors, they threw everything in there: the ideas, the complexity, the guitars with two necks, the groove-bedeviling tempo shifts. To all this, the relative crudity of punk rock was simply a biological corrective—a healing, if you like. Also, economics intervened. In 1979, as Weigel explains, record sales declined 20 percent in Britain and 11 percent in the United States, and there was a corresponding crash in the inclination of labels to indulge their progged-out artistes. No more disappearing into the countryside for two years to make an album. Now you had to compete in the singles market.

Some startling adaptations did occur. King Crimson’s Robert Fripp achieved a furious pop relevance by, as he described it, “spraying burning guitar all over David Bowie’s album”—the album in question being 1980’s Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps). Yes hit big in 1983 with the genderless cocaine-frost of “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” And Genesis, having lost ultra-arty front man Peter Gabriel, turned out to have been incubating behind the drum kit an enormous pop star: the keening everyman Phil Collins.

These, though, were the exceptions. The labels wanted punk, or punky pop, or new wave—anything but prog. “None of those genres,” grumbled Greg Lake, retrospectively, “had any musical or cultural or intellectual foundation … They were invented by music magazines and record companies talking together.” Fake news! But the change was irreversible: The proggers were, at a stroke, outmoded. Which is how, to a remarkable degree, their music still sounds—noodling and time-bound, a failed mutation, an evolutionary red herring. (Bebop doesn’t sound like that. Speed metal doesn’t sound like that.)

I feel you out there, prog-lovers, burning at my glibness. And who knows? If the great texts of prog had inscribed themselves, like The Lord of the Rings, upon my frontal lobes when they were teenage and putty-soft, I might be writing a different column altogether. But they didn’t, and I’m not. The proggers got away with murder, artistically speaking. And then, like justice, came the Ramones.

So am I supposed to feel some sort of post-Wagnerian, epic polyphonic,  form of white guilt? I happen to be white. So....

#44 Lorraine

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:30 PM

View PostWil1972, on 05 August 2017 - 04:26 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 04 August 2017 - 06:34 PM, said:

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 04 August 2017 - 06:29 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 04 August 2017 - 06:21 PM, said:

Quote

The trapped, eunuch ferocity of Geddy Lee’s voice, squealing inside the nonsense clockwork of Rush, disturbs me...

Oh my.
I wouldn't worry too much about the opinion of someone who writes for a living but can't tell an adjective from a noun.

That's not why I said "oh my."   And I didn't notice his improper use of a word.  I was thinking more of the reactions here to what he said about Geddy and Rush.

At least it was mildly creative. Hearing "balls in a vicegrip" for the umpteenth time does get old ...

I have to wonder what he means by "the nonsense clockwork of Rush."

That comment doesn't make any sense.  It can only be explained by the fact that he hasn't listen to much of Rush at all and knows only a handful of songs.

Maybe he just wrote the article to get a rise out of people.

Edited by Lorraine, 05 August 2017 - 04:31 PM.


#45 Wil1972

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:30 PM

View PostJohnRogers, on 04 August 2017 - 07:54 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 04 August 2017 - 06:21 PM, said:

Quote

The trapped, eunuch ferocity of Geddy Lee’s voice, squealing inside the nonsense clockwork of Rush, disturbs me...

Oh my.
Dude is a pussy. I ever see him in a bar I'll beat him over the head with a Presto compact disk.


Use SnA instead. No loss really.

Edited by Wil1972, 05 August 2017 - 04:30 PM.


#46 Wil1972

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:32 PM

View PostLucas, on 04 August 2017 - 11:40 PM, said:

This is Dave Weigel

One picture is worth a thousand words

Posted Image

Now that dude's white.

#47 Wil1972

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:35 PM

Sherman Hemsley liked Gong and Gentle Giant. So it must not be too white.

#48 Wil1972

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:40 PM

View PostLorraine, on 05 August 2017 - 04:30 PM, said:

View PostWil1972, on 05 August 2017 - 04:26 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 04 August 2017 - 06:34 PM, said:

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 04 August 2017 - 06:29 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 04 August 2017 - 06:21 PM, said:

Quote

The trapped, eunuch ferocity of Geddy Lee’s voice, squealing inside the nonsense clockwork of Rush, disturbs me...

Oh my.
I wouldn't worry too much about the opinion of someone who writes for a living but can't tell an adjective from a noun.

That's not why I said "oh my."   And I didn't notice his improper use of a word.  I was thinking more of the reactions here to what he said about Geddy and Rush.

At least it was mildly creative. Hearing "balls in a vicegrip" for the umpteenth time does get old ...

I have to wonder what he means by "the nonsense clockwork of Rush."

That comment doesn't make any sense.  It can only be explained by the fact that he hasn't listen to much of Rush at all and knows only a handful of songs.

Maybe he just wrote the article to get a rise out of people.


He's trying to sound smart. Its like being at a dinner party and some of the folks there know all about the latest hot thing but you only know a few choice buzzwords and attempt to fake your way through it. Instead they see right through you. Well that's this guy. Rush had an album called Clockwork Angels? Geddy sings high? I'll use that...

#49 Lorraine

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:51 PM

View PostJohnRogers, on 04 August 2017 - 07:54 PM, said:

View PostLorraine, on 04 August 2017 - 06:21 PM, said:

Quote

The trapped, eunuch ferocity of Geddy Lee’s voice, squealing inside the nonsense clockwork of Rush, disturbs me...

Oh my.
Dude is a pussy. I ever see him in a bar I'll beat him over the head with a Presto compact disk.

Yeah.

Preach it brother!

#50 HemiBeers

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:52 PM

View PostWil1972, on 05 August 2017 - 04:32 PM, said:

View PostLucas, on 04 August 2017 - 11:40 PM, said:

This is Dave Weigel

One picture is worth a thousand words

Posted Image

Now that dude's white.
his mom still does his laundry

#51 HemiBeers

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:54 PM

View PostWil1972, on 05 August 2017 - 04:32 PM, said:

View PostLucas, on 04 August 2017 - 11:40 PM, said:

This is Dave Weigel

One picture is worth a thousand words

Posted Image

Now that dude's white.
...you know that movie, 'the 40 year old virgin'?...

edit: oh wait, my bad. that might have offended some TRF members... :outtahere:

Edited by HemiBeers, 05 August 2017 - 04:59 PM.


#52 Lorraine

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 05:10 PM

View PostHemiBeers, on 05 August 2017 - 04:54 PM, said:

View PostWil1972, on 05 August 2017 - 04:32 PM, said:

View PostLucas, on 04 August 2017 - 11:40 PM, said:

This is Dave Weigel

One picture is worth a thousand words

Posted Image

Now that dude's white.
...you know that movie, 'the 40 year old virgin'?...

edit: oh wait, my bad. that might have offended some TRF members... :outtahere:

His needs a new suit jacket.  He appears to have outgrown the one he's wearing.

#53 fraroc

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 06:45 PM

This entire article is just nothing but a bunch of Rolling Stone magazine shite.

#54 laughedatbytime

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 06:46 PM

View PostWil1972, on 05 August 2017 - 04:28 PM, said:

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 04 August 2017 - 06:11 PM, said:

https://www.theatlan...tm_source=atlfb

Quote

The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock
By David Weigel

“We are the most uncool people in Miami.” So begins, promisingly enough, David Weigel’s The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock. Weigel, along with 3,000 fellow Yes-heads, Rush-oids, Tull freaks, and votaries of King Crimson—cultural underdogs all, twitching and grimacing with revenge-of-the-nerds excitement—is at the port of Miami, about to embark on a five-day progressive-rock-themed cruise: a floating orgy of some of the most despised music ever produced by long-haired white men.

Do you like prog rock, the extravagantly conceptual and wildly technical post-psychedelic subgenre that ruled the world for about 30 seconds in the early 1970s before being torn to pieces by the starving street dogs of punk rock? Do you like the proggers, with their terrible pampered proficiency, their priestly robes, and their air—once they get behind their instruments—of an inverted, almost abscessed Englishness? I don’t. At least, I think I don’t. I like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is a kind of wonderful satirical compression of prog rock, a fast-forward operetta with goofy existentialist trappings and a heavy-metal blowout in the middle; I like the bit of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells that became the theme music for The Exorcist. And there are contemporary bands I adore that have been grazed by prog: the moody, alchemical Tool, the obtuse and crushing Meshuggah. But for naked prog, the thing itself, I seem to lack the mettle. The trapped, eunuch ferocity of Geddy Lee’s voice, squealing inside the nonsense clockwork of Rush, disturbs me. And Yes’s Tales From Topographic Oceans is an experience to me unintelligible and close to unbearable, like being read aloud a lengthy passage of prose with no verbs in it.

Hated, dated, sonically superannuated … One could enjoy prog ironically, I suppose—listen to it with a drooping and decadent ear, getting off on the fabulous obsolescence, etc. But that’s not what Weigel is about. He loves prog, and his argument, his prog polemic, is that the glory of this music has been obscured from us by sneering decades of hipster rock criticism and prejudice against 20-minute songs:

Teams of highly trained visionaries paced themselves against their influences and their peers to write songs they were confident no one else would think of writing. They took the music far, far away from the basics, so that some later groups of jerks could take it “back to basics” and be praised for their genius. Every new artistic movement rebels against whatever came right before it. But the progressives’ rebellion was the weirdest and the best.
Put like that, it does sound rather tasty. Prog as a wild chamber of experimentation, a sci-fi trespass across the limits of popular music, driving clear of fashion and orbiting the Earth forever. Awesome. The problem comes, for me, when I actually listen to the stuff. Is it not a form of aesthetic dissipation to praise something for its ambition and its bold idiosyncrasy when that something is, objectively speaking, crap? I think it might be. Gentle Giant, in 1972, took a poem from Knots, a book by the great heretic psychiatrist R. D. Laing, and turned it into an intricate, multivoice chant: It hurts him to think that she is / hurting her by him being hurt to think / that she thinks he is hurt by making her / feel guilty at hurting him by her thinking / she wants him to want her. The idea is great on paper. But listen to the song, to its scurrying, fidgety instrumentation, its fussy avoidance of anything like a melody. It is not enjoyable. At all. Magma, the French prog band, invented not only its own L. Ron Hubbard–style cosmic origin story but its own language (Kobaïan, which reads like a sequence of Gothic expletives: Nebëhr gudahtt, Köhntarkösz). Again, very creative. But run, oh run, from the music.

The relative crudity of punk rock was simply a biological corrective—a healing, if you like.
If Weigel were David Foster Wallace, he would have written his entire book from inside that cruise ship, possibly never leaving his cabin, eavesdropping on snatches of music and chitchat and sending out his imagination in heavy spirals of paranoia and insight. But Weigel is a political reporter for The Washington Post, so he climbs off that wiggy, proggy boat and treads onto the dry land of chronology. “We’re a European group,” declared the lead singer of proto-proggers The Nice in 1969, “so we’re improvising on European structures … We’re not American Negros, so we can’t really improvise and feel the way they can.” Indeed. Thus did prog divorce itself from the blues, take flight into the neoclassical, and become the whitest music ever.

Procol Harum fiddled around with Bach’s Air on a G String and came up with “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” More vandalistically, the super-keyboardist Keith Emerson, of The Nice and then Emerson, Lake & Palmer, unleashed himself upon the works of Modest Mussorgsky (Pictures at an Exhibition), Alberto Ginastera (“Toccata”), and Aaron Copland (“Fanfare for the Common Man”). You’ve got to love Emerson. He would wrench, upend, and literally stab his instrument—rather in the manner in which Hunter S. Thompson used to shoot his typewriter—jamming down keys with daggers, the better to produce his trademark squelching stun-chords. Fiending for technology, vivid with turbulence, he went from the Hammond organ to the freshly developed Moog synthesizer. (The proper pronunciation of Moog, I recently discovered, is “Mogue,” like “vogue.” Perhaps prog should be pronounced “progue.”)

Money rained down upon the proggers. Bands went on tour with orchestras in tow; Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Greg Lake stood onstage on his own private patch of Persian rug. But prog’s doom was built in. It had to die. As a breed, the proggers were hook-averse, earworm-allergic; they disdained the tune, which is the infinitely precious sound of the universe rhyming with one’s own brain. What’s more, they showed no reverence before the sacred mystery of repetition, before its power as what the music critic Ben Ratliff called “the expansion of an idea.” Instead, like mad professors, they threw everything in there: the ideas, the complexity, the guitars with two necks, the groove-bedeviling tempo shifts. To all this, the relative crudity of punk rock was simply a biological corrective—a healing, if you like. Also, economics intervened. In 1979, as Weigel explains, record sales declined 20 percent in Britain and 11 percent in the United States, and there was a corresponding crash in the inclination of labels to indulge their progged-out artistes. No more disappearing into the countryside for two years to make an album. Now you had to compete in the singles market.

Some startling adaptations did occur. King Crimson’s Robert Fripp achieved a furious pop relevance by, as he described it, “spraying burning guitar all over David Bowie’s album”—the album in question being 1980’s Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps). Yes hit big in 1983 with the genderless cocaine-frost of “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” And Genesis, having lost ultra-arty front man Peter Gabriel, turned out to have been incubating behind the drum kit an enormous pop star: the keening everyman Phil Collins.

These, though, were the exceptions. The labels wanted punk, or punky pop, or new wave—anything but prog. “None of those genres,” grumbled Greg Lake, retrospectively, “had any musical or cultural or intellectual foundation … They were invented by music magazines and record companies talking together.” Fake news! But the change was irreversible: The proggers were, at a stroke, outmoded. Which is how, to a remarkable degree, their music still sounds—noodling and time-bound, a failed mutation, an evolutionary red herring. (Bebop doesn’t sound like that. Speed metal doesn’t sound like that.)

I feel you out there, prog-lovers, burning at my glibness. And who knows? If the great texts of prog had inscribed themselves, like The Lord of the Rings, upon my frontal lobes when they were teenage and putty-soft, I might be writing a different column altogether. But they didn’t, and I’m not. The proggers got away with murder, artistically speaking. And then, like justice, came the Ramones.

So am I supposed to feel some sort of post-Wagnerian, epic polyphonic,  form of white guilt? I happen to be white. So....
If you don't feel like he does, I'm sure he thinks of you as a flawed individual, and all around bad person.

#55 thirteen

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 07:53 PM

Does this make Rush 'White Supremacists'? :7up:

#56 laughedatbytime

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 07:56 PM

View Postthirteen, on 05 August 2017 - 07:53 PM, said:

Does this make Rush 'White Supremacists'? :7up:
They are according to the bizarre, illogical mental midgets at the NME.

#57 IwillchooseFreeWill

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 07:58 PM

I can think of a lot of musical genres that are white. So what?

He also seems to think prog (including all 40 years of Rush?) ended in the 70's. He doesn't know what he's talking about


Edited by IwillchooseFreeWill, 05 August 2017 - 07:59 PM.


#58 Mr. Not

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 08:05 PM

I can't not think of The Mars Volta whenever I read this article title.

#59 Wil1972

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 09:39 PM

I've never thought of Owner of a Lonely Heart as "genderless cocaine frost". This "writer", however ...

#60 Presto-digitation

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 09:56 AM

What a wank.  I could write a much more compelling piece fairly discrediting punk, but unlike this knob I don't suppose I'm going to enrage the masses with my pointless opinion.  That was more a "knock the chip off my shoulder" piece than could ever be mistaken for thoughtfulness and earnestness.





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